On Friday, September 13, the first class of Leadership and Character Scholars was initiated. The historic ceremony was held in the Philosophy Library in Tribble Hall, where the ten inaugural Scholars were joined by President and Mrs. Hatch, Leadership and Character staff, members of the Cabinet and Board of Trustees, supporters of the Program, and faculty and staff from across the university.

President Hatch graciously welcomed the Scholars to Wake Forest, congratulating them for living lives of character and artfully conveying Wake Forest’s steadfast dedication to their development. Donovan Livingston, a Staff Affiliate for the Program for Leadership and Character, read a poem by Alberto Ríos called “When Giving is All You Have.” Dr. Michael Lamb, Executive Director of the Program for Leadership and Character, shared reflections on the rich history of character at Wake Forest and invited Scholars to seek the ultimate goal of the Program: leading for humanity. Ann Phelps, the Director of Programming for Leadership and Character, led the Scholars in an oath where they committed to living out twelve core virtues of character. The ceremony concluded with pinning each of the Scholars with the seal of Wake Forest as a sign of their commitment to Pro Humanitate.

The initiation marks a milestone in the lives of these students and of Wake Forest, inaugurating a new scholarship program that reflects the highest ideals and aspirations of the university. The scholarship seeks to attract and award exceptional students who also have demonstrated a record of leadership, character, and service in their communities and who are willing to commit to an intensive program of leadership and character development during their four years at Wake Forest. The aim is to grow the program to forty students within three years.

Bios of the Scholars in the inaugural class can be found here.